Poetry News

An Interview With Amber Tamblyn About Dark Sparkler

By Harriet Staff


The Cap Times spoke with Amber Tamblyn before her reading this week in Madison, Wisconsin. Her book of poems, Dark Sparkler (Harper Perennial, 2015), "in a way fuses together her two creative lives," writes Rob Thomas. Here, she talks about touring with her husband, comedian David Cross; reading personal poems in public; "and what the insights in her book have in common with Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president." Curious!

How do you write poetry? Do the words just kind of rush out and then you shape them, or do you labor over every word as it appears?

They’re all different. Some start as a story. Some start as a list. Some start as an idea. Some start with a sentence that sounds really cool.

In this particular book, it was so unique, because it was a thematic work. I had never done anything like that before, so I always went back to the root of the theme, which was interesting. How do you keep coming back to the conversation over and over again? How do you keep approaching it and keeping it different each time?

Was this a cathartic experience for you, writing this?

Oh yeah. I’ve definitely described it as a death, a needed death in the French sense, which is not literal, but turning over a new chapter in my life. Freeing myself from my own expectations and the life of somebody who felt like she didn’t have any control over what was happening, and that everything was up to whoever on any given day who I was auditioning for.

And this sounds crazy, but I’ve always loved auditioning, I love the acting process. It’s a part of the work that I’ve always loved and will always be part of me. But I felt like there was so much more I had to offer, and I didn’t know how to get there. I think this book for some reason, by extrapolating their deaths and going into their experiences, it changed a lot of things for me, how I viewed myself and how I viewed the world.

Read the full interview here. Tamblyn reads at A Room of One's Own on Friday.

Originally Published: February 11th, 2016